Sunday 9th May 2010
By Gary Rosslee
Today was our final game in what must be described as an excellent and successful first season together. This was a season that has seen us score more than 80 goals and record some excellent performances against opposition such as Maidstone Vets (6-0) and an 11-0 victory over the teachers from Avery Hill and to think this all started with a 2-2 draw with Lloyds Golden Oldies on our very first game back in September of last year (a game which we should have won).
What more fitting way to end the season then to face opposition in the shape of the Older Vets and to some of us who made the transition over to the Young Vets was like one of those Phoenix from the flames type of moments.
With around 9 players missing (yet again) and Steve Viner kindly agreeing or being roped in to help us we lined up today as follows:
Gary Rosslee – GK
Danny Saines – LB
Matt Wright – CB
Tony Simpson – CB
Mario Kleanthous – RB
Neil Connelly – LM
Paul Tanton – CM
Steve Viner - CM
Rob Lipscomb – RM
Pete Harvey – CF
George Kleanthous – CF
The game during the first 20 minutes or so wasn’t exactly one for the purists with the pitch making it difficult for both teams to get the ball down and play their easy on the eye football. It was George Kleanthous who made the vital breakthrough for the Young Vets with albeit not his cleanest strike this season but a goal nevertheless, the ball was cut across out wide by Neil Connelly and George was just relieved to see his mistimed shot bobble under Steve Palmer in the Older Vets Goal. 0-1 Young Vets.
Young Vets were unlucky not to double their lead but for an excellent stop from Steve Palmer who managed to thwart a point blank effort from Neil Connelly who had lost his man again in the box. Neil did find the net soon after however with what he claimed was a shot but to the untrained eye would have been deemed a cross, the ball floating over the goalkeeper and nestling nicely into the net. 0-2.
Half time approached and although Danny Saines kindly offered to go in goal as he was under the impression that Rosslee was bored as he wasn’t required to make a single save and had Rosslee not been playing 2 more games in the space of 3 days he may have taken up his generous offer!
Luckily enough for Rosslee the second half did become somewhat more interesting in more ways than one. There was a spell where the Older Vets found themselves in several close range chances all to find Rosslee in inspiring form and blocking all 4 or 5 efforts. Neil Connelly added a 3rd and an almost carbon copy of his first goal with what looked like another cross but again he was given the benefit of the doubt 0-3 Young Vets.
Now after watching the Chelsea Wigan game today and witnessing Didier Drogba’s childlike behaviour when (Big Fat) Frank Lampard resumed penalty duties made me realise what a true team player Neil Connelly is, here he was on 2 goals and when the Young Vets were awarded a penalty after Chris Webb was adjudged to have fouled Pete Harvey in the box. He kindly made way for Rosslee to take the kick although some claim he just didn’t want to buy a jug of beer in the bar afterwards for Rosslee duly obliged and despatched the penalty and then proceeded to get treatment for his nosebleed after crossing the half way line 0-4 Young Vets.
There was still time however for Neil to grab a 5th for the Young Vets and to get his hat-trick and to ensure he was on jug duty in the bar. The game today had been played in good spirits and was an enjoyable match to be involved in considering the amount of casualties to both teams. So there you had it, the end of the season for some of us, thankfully yours truly will be involved in the game against the Buff this Wednesday and will be one of the few players out on the pitch who has actually recorded a victory over the Buff this season ;)
Special mentions must go to Pete Harvey for bagging 23 goals this season and I think the rest of the team will all join me in saying what a great job Danny & Tant have done in their first year in charge and thus showing Gerard Houllier and Roy Evans that two people can manage a team and not be crap - cheers chaps!!
Man of the match: Neil Connelly